Grameen Bank's Village Phone Initiative: Connecting Rural Bangladesh to the World

            
 
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Please note:

This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.



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Case Details:

Price:

Case Code : ITSY054 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 300;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 300 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges

Themes

Information and Communications Technology
Case Length : 14 Pages
Period : 1997-2006
Pub Date : 2006
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : Grameen Bank, Grameen Telecom, Grameen Phone
Industry : Telecom and Broadband
Countries : Bangladesh

Abstract:

The case discusses the Village phone project from Grameen Phone which changed the lives of millions of poor in Bangladesh by providing them mobile communication facilities. Grameen Phone, in association with Grameen Bank and Grameen Telecom had established a unique business proposition for the rural consumers in Bangladesh.

Grameen Telecom explored the villages where mobile services could be provided and in association with the local branch of Grameen Bank, encouraged and educated credit worthy members to become village phone operators (VPOs).

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The VPOs were given unsecured loans from Grameen Bank to purchase and operate mobile phones. Grameen Telecom bought a cellular phone subscription on the behalf of the members and provided connection, required hardware and the training about the use of mobile phone. The VPOs collected revenues from the users, who used the phone for making and receiving calls. The VPOs repaid the loan from the income they obtained through the phone. The case gives a detailed overview on the Village Phone project and examines the benefits reaped by the project's stakeholders.

Issues:

Understand the operations of the Grameen Phone project.

Evaluate the support required for the use of technology in development projects in rural areas.

Examine the benefits of information and communications technologies (ICTs) for rural masses.

Analyze the viability of private sector investment in projects like Grameen Phone in under-developed countries.

Contents:

  Page No.
Introduction 1
Background Note 2
Balancing Social and Economic Returns 4
The Village Phone Program 5
Operations of Village Phone 6
Revenue Generation 7
The Benefits and Challenges 8
Exhibits 10

Keywords:

Grameen Bank, Grameen Telecom, Grameen Phone, IT Projects, ICTs for Poor, Digital Divide, Village Phone Operator, Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM), Microfinance Schemes, Voice over Internet Protocol, Millennium Development Goals

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